Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, has officially announced his candidacy for president in 2012. Huntsman is running as a Republican, although he served as the U.S. Ambassador to China under the Obama Administration (resigning only at the beginning of this year), and is perhaps the most politically centrist GOP candidate so far. In a speech today announcing his intent to run, he said:
For the first time in our history, we are about to pass down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got.
About Obama, he took a more level-headed tone than we've seen in some of these speeches, saying that he and Obama have "a difference of opinion about how to help the country we both love." His speech was a refreshingly far-cry from some of the announcement speeches we've seen in the past month or so, which have made aggressive criticism of Obama their primary objective.
Of course, the Huntsman campaign will have to explain Huntsman's opposition to the Obama administration, since the latter paid his salary for the last couple years. If we want to use analogies from the GOP field, Obama is Huntsman's third divorce.
Still, for the first time so far this election season, I found myself thinking, "I disagree with this guy, but he seems reasonable." So, there's that.